With the Western Conference becoming tougher than ever, the Sacramento Kings will have their hands full this season attempting to climb out of the standings basement. A positive note for the inept franchise seems to be the amount of young talent they currently have on the roster — talent they can help develop and potentially trade later on down the road for a potential franchise player.
Marcus Thornton is one of these players. In his first season with the Kings, Thornton averaged 21.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.7 SPG while averaging 38.1 minutes as a starter. Since that 2010-11 season, his numbers have been on the decline, but this is mostly due to the decrease in minutes he has received.
With the signing of Ben McLemore this season, Thornton will most likely be delegated to backup point guard duties. If McLemore struggles throughout the season as a starter, expect the Kings to plug Thornton right back into starting duties at point guard.
If Thornton receives more than the 24 minutes he was averaging last season, he should undoubtedly have a bounce-back year with the Kings and give the franchise some potentially great trade value. Thornton deserves to start wherever he plays, and its unfortunate that the Kings drafted a stellar rookie point guard in McLemore to put in front of him in the rotation.
Expect Thornton to be moved before the NBA trade deadline in March, and sign with a team that will utilize his skill set a little more effectively.